J has got it down to a science. Pretty much every day he balks at getting on the bus. He doesn’t cry, he just puts on stubborn feet and tries to hide behind me. Often times I have to pick him up and set him on the next to top step so that the bus aide can pull him up into the bus. His teachers have assured me that he arrives at school happy and ready for the day and that there isn’t an inch of defiance/stubbornness left when he arrives (less than 10 minutes from leaving our driveway.) Today I got to see it for myself. As soon as the bus pulled away I realized that I shut my medicine alarm off early today and had forgotten to give him his morning doses. Not wanting a repeat of the day after Valentines, I put Little J in the car and we raced off to meet the bus at school, hopefully catching him before they shut the gate. He was still outside when I got there. He was so ready to go in to the classroom he could barely register that I was there. He did let me give him his meds but he stayed focused on his teachers and class the whole time. He didn’t even notice when I left because he was too busy pulling his teacher into the gate. Makes me feel much less guilty about forcing him on the bus every morning. For those of you who haven’t been with me since the beginning, I put him on the bus because he cried when I dropped him off. I’d much rather a little stubbornness than the weeping and trying to run away.
Speaking of weeping…. the poor guy had an awful day at the Dr’s office. I normally would prepare him days in advance for something like this, but he is a worrier. He remembers that the last time he went, he also got shots. that was in July. So I did mention briefly before school that he wouldn’t get much computer time when he got home because we would go see the Dr. and talk about his head hurting. So he asks if the Dr. is going to hurt him and I change the subject. I knew that there was a possibility of a blood draw so I didn’t want to lie to him. On the way to the Dr. he insists that he is all better and doesn’t need to go. Basically I have decided that I hate our Ped. and will probably look for another one off base, but I’ll get to that later. Since the headaches are sort of inconsistent he ordered a head x-ray, a blood draw, and a trip to the optometrist. So we did the x-ray 1st, it came back with a “something” so we had to take a 2nd one. Then we went to the lab. They fought (playfully) in front of me over whose turn it was for a Ped draw. I assured them from the beginning that he would give them a hard time. So we got called back
after they pulled straws. The tech puts him in my lap and puts the thing down in front of us. I was waiting for someone else but she acted as if I could handle him myself. She wanted me to pin his right arm under my right arm, hold him all the way against my chest, AND use my right hand to hold his upper left arm. all the while holding the bottom of his left arm with my left hand, and not let him move. YEAH RIGHT! So she stuck him, he squirmed, he broke free and she almost freaked out. She got the needle out and yelled that someone else needed to help her. so they brought in the guy and he did the whole hug and hold technique while I comforted him by holding my hands over his ears and sympathizing with him and keeping his eyes on mine and not the needle. WHEW we got through it. We have a follow up in a week. In the meantime I still need to make the appointment for the optometrist….which probably will get us nowhere since he will most likely be non-compliant. I will hope for the best though.
Okay so back to my Pediatrician. We are assigned Dr.s when we arrive on base. Before this base we hadn’t had any problems with any of the ones we were assigned. When I took the boys in July for their well checkups I addressed my concerns about him possibly having asperger’s or autism or adhd or a combination. He went on and on about how it couldn’t be autism and that he doesn’t like that diagnosis in kids who are so verbal and have eye contact and etc. (insert your favorite stereotype of autism here) He was pretty quick to dismiss everything but the adhd and recommended we see the psychiatrist for a diagnosis and look into the school district preschool screenings. We did both. We have a diagnosis of Autism. The Psychiatrist said it could swing either autism or aspergers but since they were on the same spectrum and Arizona doesn’t recognize asperger’s as “at risk” he put down Autism so we would be eligible for more aid (which as of now is nothing.) The Preschool evaluators do not give diagnoses just degrees of delay. In their terms he is moderately delayed especially in the social category.
So today the Dr. walks in and asks J if “Do you have something to show me?” J was a little confused at first but when the Dr. asked again J focused in on his magazine sitting across from him and said “yes.” the Dr. asked, “what is it?” J says “A magazine.” “Well what do you want to show me?” J says, “I’ll show you….” (as he flips pages.) He flipped through most of it before settling on a page. It was like the Dr. put him on the spot and J couldn’t figure out what it was that he was suppose to be doing but he was trying to comply. Based on that conversation and the fact that J changed the pronoun in “show me” to “show you” the Ped says flat out, “that’s not Autism.” Again he went on his diatribe of how ADHD has some of the same symptoms and that the lack of attention also can cause the social delays and on and on. and that he prefers Doctors to look at ADHD first because it is treatable and autism is not. He was so glad that J was on medication for the ADHD and that made me mad because I know after talking to another mom that meds are his first defense for hyperactive kids (her kid was awake for over 2 days after the dose of stimulants he gave him). I was getting very flustered and frustrated. I felt like he was accusing me of Munchausen by proxy, that I just exaggerate to make everyone think J has autism. I DO NOT WISH THAT ON ANYONE. He saw only a snapshot of J.
Oh and when J started repeating a phrase (delayed echolalia) “Stop that you big bully!” in response to the Dr. checking his ears, I said “He’s not a bully, he’s your Dr.” To this the Dr. replied to J, “Do kids make fun of you at school?” and J said “yes.” He then looks at me pointedly and says thats typical for adhd kids to get made fun of and bullied. (there is no bullying in J’s special classroom) I told him that I didn’t think that J understood him or knew what that meant. so he asked how he would know to call him a bully. “FROM TV”. After trying to pry into the situation it turns out that J thinks being made fun of is when the teacher tells you to shut the door and not open it when trying to run away from class. (Apparently he didn’t want snack today and instead tried to leave class.) So then based on this misunderstanding the Dr. wanted to know if J even knew what a headache was. I told him that he doesn’t use that word just that his “head hurts.” I gave him the whole story again and how they are waking him in the night with the pain. He kept trying to lead me, that maybe J has heard me say my heard hurt and that it garners some kind of sympathy.
So now not only am I lying about J having Autism but J is lying about having “head hurts”
UUUUGGGGHHHH! now my head hurts!
Thanks if you stayed with me this long.